The week since Greeks delivered a firm No vote against a set of Eurozone austerity measures in return for a financial aid program has been a busy one.
But despite Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis’ pledge to resign and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras getting a ribbing for his policies in the European Parliament, Eurozone leaders are demanding Greece do more to reform its fiscal policies.
Tsipras had earlier in the week asked for an additional $59 billion in immediate aid to cover the next three years, in exchange for the kinds of reforms European creditors had been demanding of Athens.
But European leaders may have lost faith in Tsipras.
During a summit of some Eurozone leaders in Brussels on Sunday, Tsipras was told he had to have the Greek parliament fully ratify a bailout deal – which some say is far more stringent than what was on the table before – and immediately scrap pensions while raising taxes – or else.
But the week of hard negotiations – and a return of Greek anti-austerity protesters to the streets – has stretched both Athens and the EU itself.
Many ministers and senior figure’s in Tsipras’ Syriza party have said they would not sign a EU deal if it is brought before the Greek Parliament.
In Brussels, Germany’s hard stance toward Greece has alienated some of its European allies. France, for example, sees a different approach to the crisis and French President Francois Hollande disagrees with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the probability of a Grexit.
Hollande has warned that a Grexit would be tantamount to the worst crisis to hit Europe since World War II and represent a defeat of all the ideals that have unified the continent since.
Some European leaders share Hollande’s urgent need to resolve the issue, but keep Greece in the currency zone, while others have banded with Germany’s hardline.
At stake is German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s suggestion last week that a “Grexit” could be temporary until Greece fixes its economy.
He has pressed Merkel hard to pressure Tsipras to concede to International Monetary Fund “management” of any bailout regimen Athens may adopt.
Some European lawmakers say that humiliating Greece by increasing austerity measures will only make its exit inevitable.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies
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